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If you have multiple hosting plans where one plan has root-level access, or if your WordPress hosting provider offers addons or bundles providing one of the following solutions, you may offload your in-memory caching to another server. This allows you to separate your actual site and caching solution between multiple servers to compliment each other, and allows for easier scaling to serve many users.

Page Caching Methods

Memcached

Memcached is a high-performance, distributed memory object caching system meant to speed up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load. It provides an in-memory key-value store for small chunks of arbitrary data (strings, objects) from the results of database calls, API calls, or page rendering.

Memcached is ideal for relatively small and static data, and as a result may be more efficient than Redis in smaller data sets. It is also multi-threaded, which may be a benefit when using a VPS or Dedicated Server with a large resource pool.

Redis

Redis is an in-memory data structure store which may be used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis is somewhat of an industry-standard at the time of writing, and can be defined simply as a superset of Memcached when purely talking about similarities between each feature set.

Memcached + NGINX (Recommended)

This method is usually the fastest because cached data is always stored in memory and cached requests are processed without PHP. It combines the power of the Disk: Enhanced and Memcached options.

Caveats

Using an in-memory cache on another asset will assist with exceeding any disk-based performance issues, however you may run into issues if your traffic exceeds your available bandwidth as this requires fetching assets over a network. Offloading your caching to another server may not greatly decrease your site’s response time due to the extra HTTP transactions, though it will allow many more users to interact with your site simultaneously.

An additional concern is that requests to in-memory caches are generally handled by PHP scripts, which is considered to be slower than Disk: Enhanced.

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12 thoughts on “Configuring Page Caching in W3 Total Cache for Multiple Servers

  1. I am on Google Cloud Platform using 8 vCPUs and 16 GB memory. I’m on an Apache server using Linux 4.9.0-14-amd64 x86_64 and PHP7. I have memcached available. What do you recommend my setup be? For page cache, minify, object and database cache (I found conflicting advice on WordPress support forum, claiming I don’t need to enable database caching if I have object caching and fragment caching enabled). Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Hi Hilal-

      Many users find that using a cache engine is actually slower than using MySQL or MariaDB calls, unless your site has a lot of complex queries on each page. Most users will find that leaving Database caching off will be better for their use case. Objects and fragments will generally get the job done, but it really depends on your individual circumstance.

        • Hi Hilal!

          Since you have memcached available on your server using it for minification should help improve your website’s performance.

          Please let us know if you have any other questions for us!

    • Hi Fabio-
      If you’re using a single server, APCu is a good alternative for in-memory key-value storage, but it’s limited in that it can only perform object caching, and not opcode or database caching.

        • Hi Fabio-
          In this situation, I’d recommend using either Redis or Memcached for Page, Minify, and Database Cache. You can still use APCu for object and opcode caching, because it will be more efficient at storing opcode cache.

  2. i didnt find memcache extension in my w3 total plugin. so i selected Disk Enhanced,
    i have cloud server service.
    Plz Suggest

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